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A Checklist to Starting a Value-Added Dairy Foods Business

By Kerry E. Kaylegian
There are several things to consider when starting a Value Added Dairy business, such as marketing, manufacturing, and on-farm production to help launch your successful business!
successful business
  • Perform consumer market research. Who are your potential customers? What are their needs?
  • Determine your marketing mix. What is your product line?
  • Define your product. What will you make? How much will you make?
  • Define how you are going to make your product. Research manufacturing processes and key process parameters.
  • Define the facility and equipment needs to make, store, and distribute your product.
  • Get regulatory approval for your facility.
On-Farm Production
  • Determine how much milk you will need. Consider that you can use 100% of your milk production; a portion of your milk and market the remainder; or purchase milk from another producer.
  • Plan for the future. If your value-added product attribute depends on the production system, then plan for the transition.
Business Planning
  • Plan for management of both businesses. Will the farm and the value-added business be managed separately or together?
  • Develop a business plan that includes: business goals and strategies, a financial plan, and an HR plan, a marketing plan, and a processing plan.
  • Perform an investment analysis and project cash flow. These will allow you to assess the profit potential.
  • Build a good advisory team.
A Successful and Sustainable business is the result of a solid understanding of your markets and the technology needed to make your products, and a commitment to the highest quality farming, manufacturing, and business practices. 
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And now, as we face a global pandemic, agriculture is once again in the spotlight as an essential service – providing food, fuel and fibre. How can agriculture lead Canada’s economic recovery? How can agriculture become a global powerhouse and trusted leader? And, how can we best position our farmers for success?

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